Making Family Fitness a Priority

Now that the kids are headed back to school, you’re probably feeling rushed. This time of the year means that your hours are filled with all things related to back to school: school supply shopping, fall wardrobes, annual physicals and registration fees to name a few. Not to mention trying to get everyone on a routine once again. The trouble is that when school starts back up, the days become shorter and the temperatures drop, and families are more likely to fall back into a sedentary routine.

It’s no secret that kids these days are sitting in school, then coming home to sit in front of a screen, whether it’s on a television, tablet or game console. When Mom or Dad get home, it’s time for dinner, baths and homework. There’s just not much time left to do anything remotely physically rewarding, or is there?

Physical activity is important at any age and should not be overlooked, even in young children. The rate of obesity among children 6-19 has quadrupled since the 1960s and has become an epidemic that has lifelong consequences. The best thing you can do is get your kids off to the right start by incorporating exercise early on. When your child looks at exercise as a regular part of their day, it won’t be such a struggle as they get older.

As school routines pick up, remember to make time for fitness. Below are some creative ideas for ensuring your child is getting enough activity.

  • School Sports. Encourage your child to participate in a school sport. This is the best way to ensure that they get daily exercise through practice and games. Take part by helping your child improve their skills at home.

  • Family Fitness Classes. Many park districts, schools and YMCAs offer fitness classes for the whole family. Check into your local programs to see what’s available. If your child’s school doesn’t have a program, inquire about creating one for families.

  • Sports Clinics. If your child could use a boost in their skills, sign them up for a sport clinic. It’s an extra opportunity for them to get moving while strengthening their skills. Check out the many clinics and conditioning classes offered at CK’s Baseball.

  • Family Walks. Every parent should take a few minutes out of the day to hear about what their child did at school. This keeps everyone connected. Make time for this by taking a walk after dinner each evening or going on a bike ride.

  • Hobbies and Games. Kids love games. So, turn exercise into a game, or incorporate hobbies that your child enjoys. For instance, go on a scavenger hunt while walking through a local trail, or bring along the camera to take pictures of animals and trees.

  • Video Games. If your child insists on playing video games, accept the plea and let them play a fitness video game. There are dozens of choices out there that will get your child walking or dancing in fun, creative ways.

The more you make fitness a regular part of your routine, the more enjoyable and natural it will be!